In February, Jeff Johnson talked about Black History Month coming to a close. He said it shouldn’t be celebrated just once a year but everyday or every week. He asked that we set aside at least one evening or one day a week to talk about black history and to keep it alive. We plan to honor his request with a gallery every week this month to celebrate significant events, timelines, births and to remember those who have passed away.
1. November 17: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Howard Rollins
1834:Nancy Green was born. She was a storyteller, cook, activist & one of the 1st African American models hired to promote a corporate trademark ‘Aunt Jermima’. She passed in 1923, aged 89.
1895:Katie Crippen was born. She was an entertainer & singer. She formed a group ‘Katie Crippen & Her Kids’ that included Fats Waller & a teenaged Count Basie. She died of cancer at age 34.
1897:John Mercer Langston passed away, aged 67. He was an abolitionist, attorney, educator, activist & politician.
1904:William H. Hastie, Jr. was born. He was the 1st African American to serve as Governor of the United States Virgin Islands, as a Federal judge, and as a Federal appellate judge. He passed in 1976, aged 71.
1911:Omega Psi Phi fraternity was incorporated.
1932:Charles Chestnutt passed away, aged 74. He was an author, essayist, political activist, lawyer & Spingarn Medal recipient. In 1917, he protested and successfully shut down showings in Ohio of the controversial film Birth of a Nation, which the NAACP officially protested across the nation.
1945:Elvin Hayes turns 28 today. He is a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, and an inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
1950:Actor Howard Rollins, Jr. was born. He passed away in 1996 of cancer at age 46.
1951:’Fool, Fool, Fool’ by the Clovers was the number one song this day.
1951:Carol Denise McNair was born. She died in the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing by the KKK. She was 11 years old.
1956:The Heartbeats’ “A Thousand Miles Away” charted (#53 pop, #5 R&B), and the Continental’s inspiring “Dear Lord” ($200) was released.
1958:Jackie Wilson’s supreme classic, “Lonely Teardrops,” charted R&B reaching #1 for seven weeks and #7 pop.
1958:The Chanters’ “Over the Rainbow” was issued.
1960:Happy Birthday to performer RuPaul
1964:Marvin Gaye, who was in England for TV performances, left to visit Dionne Warwick after hearing she had been in a car accident.
1967:Happy Birthday to New Edition member Ronnie DeVoe who turns 46 today.
1979:’Still’ by the Commodores hit number one on the charts.
1980: The annual “Royal Command Performance” in London featured Aretha Franklin and Sammy Davis Jr. singing for England’s Queen Elizabeth II.
1992:Award-winning writer, poet and civil rights activist Audre Lorde lost her battle with cancer. She was 58.
1996:Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, and Luther Vandross performed at Celebrate the Dream: 50 Years of Ebony Magazine at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium
1998:Janet Jackson, while on a South African tour, met President Nelson Mandela, and all twenty-nine of his grandchildren, at his home.
1998:Esther Rolle passed away, aged 78. She was an actress of stage, film & TV.
2003:Singer Arthur Conley passed away, aged 57 of cancer.
2003:A jury convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad of capital murder.
2006:Tony Award winning singer, actress & songwriter Ruth Brown passed away, aged 78.
2006:Actor & comedian Michael Richards openly, publicly and repeatedly insulted blacks at a comedy club in Los Angeles.
2012:R&B singer Billy Scott passed away, aged 70 of pancreatic cancer.
2. November 18: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Lionel Richie
1927:Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Hank Ballard, singer and songwriter, was born. He passed away in 2003, aged 75.
1936:Jazz trumpeter & pioneer of world fusion music Don Cherry was born. He passed in 1995, aged 58.
1936:Singer, composer, arranger & record producer Jimmy Radcliffe was born. He died in 1973 of kidney failure. He was 36.
1948:NFL player Jack Tatum aka ‘The Assassin’ was born. He died of a heart attack in 2010, aged 61.
1952:Happy Birthday to Delroy Lindo who turns 61 today. He is an actor of film and television.
1956:Fats Domino sang his hit “Blueberry Hill” on CBS-TV’s Ed Sullivan Show.
1956:Happy Birthday to Warren Moon
1964: The NBC-TV variety show Shindig! featured the Supremes (who sang “Baby Love” and “Come See About Me”) and the Righteous Brothers also performed.
1968:Retired MLB outfielder Gary Sheffield turns 45 today. He currently works as a sports agent.
1968: The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Electric Ladyland album was certified gold.
1970:Happy Birthday to actor and comedian Mike Epps
1971:Singer, musician and Blues Hall of Famer Junior Parker died during surgery for a brain tumor. He was 39 years old.
1972: Bill Withers sang his recent hits “Lean On Me” and “Use Me” on the syndicated dance show Soul Train.
1972:’If You Don’t Know Me by Now’ by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes as the #1 R&B song this day.
1972: Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” entered the pop charts
1977:Happy Birthday to rapper Fabolous
1977:Happy Birthday to rapper Pastor Troy
1979: Chuck Berry was released from California’s Lompoc Prison farm after serving a four-month sentence for tax evasion.
1983:Happy Birthday to Mila J
1993:In South Africa, 21 political parties approve a new constitution, expanding voting rights and ending white minority rule.
1994:Bandleader, singer, songwriter & Grammy Hall of Famer inductee Cab Calloway passed away, aged 86.
1996:Lionel Richie received a Lifetime Achievement Award in London at the 1st Music of Black Origin (MOBO) ceremonies.
2009:James Armstrong passed away, aged 86. He was a Birmingham barber for more than 50 years and had a long history of involvement in the civil rights movement. One of his clients was Rev. M.L. King, Jr.
3. November 19: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: The Supremes
1921: One of the greatest catchers in the history of baseball, Roy ‘Campy’ Campanella was born. He was one of the pioneers who broke the color barrier in MLB. He passed in 1993, aged 71.
1927: Joe Hunter was born. He was one of the original Funk Brothers of Motown fame. He passed in 2007, aged 79.
1936: Robert White was born. He was guitarist for Motown’s Funk Brothers. He died from complications of open heart surgery. He was 57.
1939: Happy Birthday to Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Warren ‘Pete’ Moore who turns 74 today. He was a singer, recorder producer, songwriter and Arranger.
1954: While driving from Vegas to L.A., Sammy Davis, Jr. crashes into another car on Route 66 San Bernadino, CA, and three days later, permanently loses use of his left eye.
1955: The Cues, known mostly as a studio backup group for the likes of Atlantic stars Ruth Brown and LaVern Baker, had their first chart single with “Burn That Candle” (#86 pop).
1958: Happy Birthday to actor Terrence T.C. Carson who turns 55 today.
1960: ‘Georgia on My Mind’ by Ray Charles hit #1.
1962: Influential ’50s blues star Savannah Churchill made a comeback performance at the Room at the Bottom in New York’s Greenwich Village. She had been badly injured several years earlier when a fan fell on top of her.
1964: The Supremes became the first all-girl group to reach #1 in Britain when “Baby Love” hit the coveted top spot.
1964: Blues singer and musician Little Johnny Jones died of bronchopneumonia. He was 40 years old.
1966: ‘Knock on Wood’ by Eddie Floyd was the number one song this day.
1966: Happy Birthday to Olympic Hall of Famer Gail Devers who turns 47 today.
1968: The Supremes performed at the Royal Variety Show in London before Queen Elizabeth.
1969: Happy Birthday to award winning actress Erika Alexander who turns 44 today.
1971: B.B. King began a European tour in London on his twenty-fifth anniversary in the music business.
1973: Happy Birthday to tap dancer, actor & choreographer Savion Glover who turns 40 today.
1979: Chuck Berry left prison after a stay for tax evasion.
1983: Tina Turner begins her fabled Eighties comeback when her version of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” produced by of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh of Heaven 17, hits the British charts.
1985: Lincoln Perry aka Stepin Fetchit passed away, aged 83. He was the 1st black actor in history to become a millionaire and the 1st black actor to receive featured screen credit in film.
1990: Milli Vanilli were stripped of their Grammy Award because the duo did not sing at all on the Girl You Know It’s True album.
1992: Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 album was certified six times platinum (six million copies) by the RIAA.
1994: Actor Dedrick Gobert was fatally shot this day. He was 22 years old.
1995: Little Milton, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, and Clarence Carter appeared at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles on the last night of their Heavyweights of Blues caravan tour.
1998: Natalie Cole sang “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” at Frank Sinatra’s eightieth birthday party at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. If that didn’t do it for Ol’ Blues, Little Richard’s rendition of “Old Black Magic” surely did.
2002: While greeting fans from a 5-floor hotel balcony in Berlin, Michael Jackson shocks the world by dangling his newborn son over the side of the railing.
4. November 20: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: LaVern Baker
1866:Howard University was founded and the 1st students entered Howard University in May 1867.
1895:The mother of gospel music Sallie Martin was born. She passed in 1988, aged 93.
1910:The Reverend Dr. Anna Pauline ‘Pauli’ Murray was born. She was the 1st black woman ordained as an Episcopal priest. She passed away in 1985, aged 75.
1923:Inventor Garrett Morgan was granted a patent for the Traffic Signal.
1946:Soul Singer J. Blackfoot was born. He passed away in 2011, aged 65.
1954:Known as “Little Miss Share Cropper,” LaVern Baker (Delores Williams) had her debut disc, “Tweedlee Dee,” released today.
1954:The Drifter’s quintessential R&B version of “White Christmas,” was released, rising to #2 R&B.
1955:Bo Diddley performed on The Ed Sullivan Show, playing “BoDiddley” even though he was scheduled to play “16 Tons.”
1961:Solomon Burke reached #24 pop today with “Just Out of Reach,” which eventually rose to #7 R&B.
1961:The Crystal’s debut single, “There’s No Other,” charted (#20 pop, #5 R&B), becoming the first of their eight hits.
1964:’How Sweet It Is’ by Marvin Gaye entered the charts.
1965:’I Hear a Symphony’ by the Supremes was #1.
1971:’Have You Seen Her’ by the Chi-Lites was the number one song this day.
1976:Happy Birthday to Olympic Gold Medalist Dominique Dawes
1984: Michael Jackson is awarded a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame directly in from of Mann’s famous Chinese Theatre, creating the largest-ever crowd for such an unveiling.
1991:Michael Jackson’s Dangerous was released. It was apparently so popular that 30,000 copies of the album, worth more than $400,000, were stolen by shotgun-wielding thugs from a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport.
1993:Anita Baker’s “Witchcraft” duet with Frank Sinatra, from his Duets album, reached its peak at #2 pop in its first week on the charts.
1993:Augusta, GA, honored one of their own when a portion of Ninth Street was officially renamed James Brown Boulevard.
2003:It was revealed that Prince would be an inductee for the19th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
2007:New Orlean’s jazz trumpeter Ernest (“Doc”) Paulin passed away, aged 100.
2008:Abraham Biggs a Florida teen committed suicide by overdosing on large amounts of pills while broadcasting live on the internet via Webcam. He was 19 years old.
2008:Former NFL Green Bay Packers cornerback Bob Jeter passed away aged 71.
2011:University of Louisville football & track star and NFL trailblazer Lenny Lyles passed away, aged 75.
2012:One of Jazz’s leading drummers, Pete La Roca Sims, passed away, aged 74.
5. November 21: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Hadda Brooks
1904:Jazz musician Coleman Hawkins was born. He passed away in 1969, aged 64.
1918:Henry B. Delany was elected suffragan bishop of the Protestant Episcopal diocese of North Carolina.
1933:S.H. Love awarded a patent for improvements on vending machines.
1936:James DePreist was born. He was one of the 1st African American conductors on the world stage. He passed away this past February, aged 76.
1941:Happy Birthday to songwriter, singer, arranger, record producer David Porter who turns 72 today. He was the songwriting & production partner of Isaac Hayes at Stax Records in the 60s.
1942:The King Cole Trio debuted on the R&B charts with “That Ain’t Right,” which soared to #1.
1948:Actor Irving Allen Lee was born. He died in 1992 from an AIDS related illness. He was 43.
1953:Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters reached #1 R&B with “Money Honey” and stayed there for an amazing eleven weeks.
1960:’Stay’ by Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs was the number one song this day.
1961:The Impressions performed their hit “Gypsy Woman” on American Bandstand.
1965:Reggie Lewis was born. He played for the NBA’s Boston Celtics. He suffered sudden cardiac death on the court during an off-season practice. He was 27 years old.
1969:Happy Birthday to Ken Griffey, Jr. who turns 44 today. He is a MLB Hall of Famer.
1971:Happy Birthday to Michael Strahan who turns 41 today. HE is currently co-host of the talk show Live! with Kelly & Michael.
1975:Happy Birthday to Cherie Johnson She is an actress, writer and film producer.
1984:Benji Wilson was fatally shot just prior to basketball season during his senior year. He was just 17.ESPN premiered a documentary on hi titled Benji in 2012.
1990:En Vogue performed at the Summit in Houston while touring as a supporting act for MC Hammer.
1991:Jimi Hendrix received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
2002:Delta Blues pianist, singer and composer Hadda Brooks passed away, aged 86.
2006:Robert Lockwood, Jr. passed away, aged 91.
2007:Frances L. Murphy passed away, aged 85. She was publisher of the longest-running black family-owned newspaper in the US. Her grandfather founded the Afro-American in 1892.
2010:Margaret Burroughs passed away, aged 93. She was the founder in 1961 of the DuSable Museum of African-American History in Chicago, one of the oldest black history museums in the country.
6. November 22: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Guion Bluford
1884:Christopher Perry founded the Philadelphia Tribune
1888:Camille Nickerson was born. She was a pianist, composer, arranger, collector, and Howard University professor from 1926–1962. She passed in 1982, aged 94.
1898:Felix Harding received a patent for the extension banquet table.
1901:NOLA jazz musician Polo Barnes was born. He passed in 1981, aged 80.
1904:Jazz musician, arranger & bandleader Horace Henderson was born. He passed in 1988, aged 83.
1942:Happy Birthday to Guion Bluford who turns 71 today. He is a retired NASA astronaut and the 1st African American in Space.
1946:Happy Birthday to Aston Barrett
1950:MLB outfielder Lyman Bostock was born. His career was cut short when he was fatally shot in his hometown of Gary, IN. He was 27 years old.
1963:Mary Wells and Sam Cooke performed their 1st of two concerts at New York’s Apollo Theater. Between shows, word came that President Kennedy had been assassinated. Cooke immediately cancelled his performance and flew back to L.A.
1964:Happy Birthday to actor Khalil Kain
1966:Happy Birthday to actor Michael Kenneth Williams
1966:Leonard J. Julien received a patent for the cane planter.
1967:The Chambers Brothers began a weeklong engagement with Blood, Sweat & Tears at New York ‘s the Scene.
1969 Jazz diva Nina Simone charted with “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” and it reached #8 R&B charts.
1969:’Baby I’m for Real’ by the Originals was the number one R&B song this day.
1975:Natalie Cole peaked at #6 pop while reaching #1 R&B with her dazzling recording of “This Will Be.”
1980:Parliament charted with “Agony of DeFeet,” reaching #7 R&B.
1980:Yarborough & Peoples had their chart debut and biggest hit all in one when “Don’t Stop the Music” flew onto the R&B hit register, stopping at #1 for five weeks.
1981: During Muddy Waters’ gig at the Checkerboard Lounge in Chicago, the legendary bluesman is joined onstage by the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ron Wood, currently touring through the Midwest.
1986:Actor, dancer, musician and singer Scatman Crothers passed today, aged 76.
1986:George Branham from Detroit won the PBA Championship (Pro Bowling)
1989:Happy Birthday to Candice Glover
1997:In Nigeria, more than 100 people are killed at an attack aimed at the contestants of the Miss World contest.
2008:Rapper Eric “MC” Breed died of kidney failure at age 37. He had released over a dozen albums and collaborated with Tupac and Too Short.
2012:Lawrence Guyot passed away, aged 73. He was a civil rights leader who survived jailhouse beatings in the Deep South in the ‘60s and later encouraged generations to get involved.
7. November 23: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Junior Walker
1897:Inventor A.J. Beard was awarded a patent for the Railroad car-coupler.
1913:Writer, journalist & historian Dorothy Sterling was born. She passed away in 2008, aged 95.
1926:R.L. Burnside was born. He was a blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. He passed in 2005, aged 79.
1936:Legendary blues artist Robert Johnson recorded his 1st session at the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, TX, for American Record Corporation’s Vocalion label.
1939:Singer & pianist Betty Everett was born. She passed away in 2001, aged 61.
1941:Actress, playwright, elocutionist Henrietta V. Davis passed away, aged 81. She was proclaimed by Marcus Garvey to be the “greatest woman of the (African) race today.
1960:Happy Birthday to actor & comedian John Henton
1960:Happy Birthday to GMA anchor Robin Roberts
1967:Aretha Franklin appeared in New York’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the Lady in the Show Float.
1968:’Who’s Making Love’ by Johnnie Taylor was the number one R&B song this day.
1968:Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” charted on its way to #1 both pop and R&B for seven weeks, becoming his biggest pop hit.
1972:Happy Birthday to rapper Kurupt
1973:Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the O’Jays, and the Stylistics performed at San Francisco’s famed Cow Palace.
1974:Happy Birthday to Malik Rose
1985:Rapper LL Cool J (James Todd Smith, whose stage name stands for “Ladies Love Cool James”) charted with “I Can’t Live Without My Radio,” reaching R&B #15.
1991:Patti LaBelle sang her favorite song, “Over the Rainbow,” on CBS-TV’s Party for Richard Pryor. Also performing were the Pointer Sisters and Bobby Womack.
1994: Michael Jackson was cleared in a paternity suit after DNA results proved he was NOT the father.
1995:Junior Walker (born Autry DeWalt Walker), the master sax player who charted 26 times with and without his soul group the All-Stars, died this day of cancer in Battle Creek, MI. His group was named when an enthusiastically inebriated man jumped up at a show and proclaimed, “These guys are all stars.” Junior was sixty-four.
2000:R&B singer Bobby Sheen died from pneumonia, aged 59.
2001:Grammy Award winning singer O.C. Smith passed away, aged 69.
2002: Otis Redding’s widow and former manager sued Scott Freeman, author of a 2001 biography of the late soul singer that mentioned rumors to the effect that Redding’s then-manager caused his plane to crash in 1967, with a little help from the mob, in order to collect on his life insurance.
2008:The oldest living person in the world Pearl Gartrell passed away, aged 120. She did not have a birth certificate but her birth date was recorded in the family Bible as April 1, 1888. This would make her 120 years old when she
2011:Barry Llewellyn passed away, aged 64. He was cofounder of the Heptones, a leading Jamaican reggae and rocksteady trio from the ‘60s.
2012:Lawrence Guyot, Jr. passed away, aged 73. He was a civil rights activist who was the director of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964.